Namecoin is actually one of very few coins, that doing something more than just being a BTC clone.
I think it will be mined in MM as long BTC will be mined.
Given Discus Fish [aka CEX.io] just paid the NMC devs 20,000 NMC to update the code I'd say there are long term [merge mining] plans. Just like they have obvious plans for the only other coin they are choosing to merge mine [iXcoin]
I'm a bit saddened; however, by the fact they didn't give us any help updating the code. I guess they fooled me [again] into paying for it. lol